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ESPN’s FPI projects Kentucky’s win total in 2019

The metric thinks Kentucky will make it to a fourth-straight bowl under Mark Stoops.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Citrus Bowl - Kentucky v Penn State Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s no secret that the Kentucky Wildcats’ football team is consistently disrespected each and every year. It’s actually become a bit of surprise when someone predicts the Cats to do well.

Coming off the the first 10-win season in four decades to go along with a Citrus Bowl victory over the Penn State Nittany Lions, this year is no different, as ESPN’s FPI system projected the Cats to win 6.4 games in 2019.

It’s an annual thing now to pick UK to win five or six games, lose to the South Carolina Gamecocks, and peg the program and fans alike as thrilled to have simply made a postseason appearance in a bowl game.

Why would that suddenly change after one fluky season? That’s what the national analysts are thinking. That’s what the computers spit out. But is that reality?

Maybe, the Cats will nosedive this season after losing two of the best players in program history in Josh Allen and Benny Snell. Maybe, they’ll revert back to bottom-feeders in the SEC, only able to keep a spot in the prestigious conference due to their basketball program.

Or, maybe they’ll beat South Carolina for the sixth straight season. Perhaps, Mark Stoops and Co. will show the world that last year wasn’t a fluke. And that he didn’t just build one good team. He built a program. A program that has matched or exceeded its win total for each season since he’s been in charge.

And maybe, just maybe, the Kentucky football program will finally command the respect it deserves.